Eight years after a deadly ambush by Taliban militants, Malala Yousafzai survived the deadly attack meant to silence her and other girls who sought education.
Now, the outspoken advocate for girls’ education around the world has graduated from one of the world’s top universities.
Eight years after being shot by the Pakistani Taliban, the advocate for female education and the world’s youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner shared a photo of herself smothered in cake as she celebrated her Philosophy, Politics and Economics degree from Britain’s Oxford University.
“Hard to express my joy and gratitude right now,” she wrote to her 3 million social media followers.
Yousafzai’s story captured the world when she was gunned down on her way home from school in 2012, aged just 15, in Pakistan’s Swat Valley area. She had come to the militants’ attention for speaking out in support of girls’ education, and was targeted on the bus home, which also saw two of her classmates severely injured.
She and her family were soon airlifted to Birmingham, England, where she received treatment and rehabilitation for her life-threatening injuries. The family made the city home.
Yousafzai, 22, has since continued to champion the cause, traveling around the world from the White House to refugee camps, and campaigning for the right of girls to improve their minds and lives.
She graduated from Oxford’s Lady Margaret Hall college, which boasts a number of prominent alumni, including two current members of Britain’s political cabinet — Dominic Raab and Michael Gove — as well as Yousafzai’s idol, Pakistan’s first female prime minister Benazir Bhutto. Bhutto herself was gunned down on the campaign trail in Pakistan in December 2007.
Like many young students during the coronavirus pandemic, formal graduation ceremonies have been canceled or shifted online and Yousafzai remains at home with her family.
“I don’t know what’s ahead,” she wrote. “For now, it will be Netflix, reading and sleep.”